Category Archives: Thembi Mazubane

Daily News: Slain activist was warned to leave

Slain activist was warned to leave


Durban – The distraught girlfriend of the murdered Cato Crest protest leader says his comrades warned him to flee the area for his own safety, shortly before he was gunned down.

Thembi Mazubane, 42, who had lived with Nkululeko Gwala, 34, described how she found his body in the road near her home in Cato Crest after 10pm on Wednesday. He had been shot in the head and chest, she said.

uNksz Thembi Mazubane

Just two hours before he was shot, and earlier in the week, Gwala had told the Daily News that he had received death threats .

Gwala, of the shack dwellers’ movement Abahlali base Mjondolo, was shot while he was walking home after watching a football game at Mgazi’s tavern. Mazubane said she had advised him to quit his activism over housing provision in the area, but he would hear none of it.

The killing came just hours after eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo and Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo – who is also chairman of the ANC in the city – met residents at the Cato Crest Community Hall to discuss rising tension.

The offices of two local councillors were torched earlier this week, apparently by residents unhappy over the allocation of RDP houses.

During the meeting, a number of community members who were given a chance to speak mentioned Gwala by name, commending his actions.

Mazubane said that after the meeting his comrades advised him to leave the area.

“He told them that if he dies, they should just continue to fight for service delivery. This house is never going to be the same without him. His bravery brought him this fate,” she said.

Mazubane said Gwala had told her he had no interest in owning a house in Cato Crest but was involved in protesting for people whose voices had been ignored by leaders.

Gwala was in the thick of things during the land invasions in Cato Crest earlier this year and represented residents in talks with eThekwini officials, including the mayor.

Recalling the horror of finding his body, Mazubane, said: “I cried seeing him in that position. He was face-down. It seemed as if his head had been filled up with nails. I have never experienced such trauma.”

She said she was deeply hurt that none of her neighbours had called to give her support or pay their respects.

Gwala’s father, Thembinkosi Ndokweni, of eManzimtoti, hailed his son as a “real man who had big plans and would not let fear stand in his way”.

Ndokweni said: “I have lost a man with a wonderful heart. He drafted a business proposal for an Inchanga youth project. His vision was to hand out awards to schools with an excellent matric pass rate. He owned a successful football team at Inchanga. He always wanted to bring change into people’s lives.”

Ndokweni plans to have his son buried on Wednesday.

Police said they were investigating Gwala’s death.